Saturday, 14 March 2015

Marianne dress for spring - the spirit of liberty, equality and fraternity!

As part of my spring wardrobe overhaul I fancied making a Marianne dress.  I say SPRING almost as if it's a different season, but in reality here in Northern Ireland it's really just an extension of wintry weather clothing only maybe using lighter colours.  Of late I have found that there is not much requirement for cotton lawn or double gauze until about mid-May at best.  Having said that I fancied one of those stripey Parisiene takes that are so in with blue and white stripe fabric, but somehow I just couldn't find the right fabric.  So I ended up using some lovely merino fabric in a pink and grey chevron pattern that I had bought a while ago.  Anyone who has been reading my blog will know that this fabric is my passion, it is so soft and cosy, but lightweight and where I live can be worn in most seasons.

 I decided to use a grey marl merino for the upper bodice, upper sleeves and cuffs and the main fabric is a pink and grey chevron pattern.  I reckoned if Pantone say MARSALA is the colour of the year then I can say that burgundy/wine is one of my colours this year.

I made the size 14 and I would say it is fine in the upper body, but is a bit baggy from the waist down, the skirt part is quite flared, so I probably should have gone to a 12 in the lower part.  Ah well, now I know for the next time. (Still on the look out for that perfect stripe)

The dress itself is really an A-line crew neck dress, but there is a lovely little cuff detail which just somehow adds to it.  I have a million buttons stashed and yet how come I always have to go out and buy for particular projects.  Anyway, in this case, I think it was worth it - they are a grey/wine marl effect and match really well

The other version of the Marianne has a lovely little Peter Pan collar and you can make a kimono cap sleeve, now that would be lovely for summer, but for now I hope to get a good couple of months wear out of this version and, of course, it will be great for autumn.  It's a simple, but great pattern, I wore it today and it was comfy for driving and sitting five hours in an embroidery class!

Incidentally, I like to imagine why designers decide on the names for their patterns.  Now it may be that Christine Haynes just liked the name Marianne, but when I looked it up, Marianne (the French name) means 'having the spirit of  liberty, equality and fraternity.'  I LIKE THAT and I like the dress!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

A spring Lantana Cappuccino dress

Hard to believe that we are now into March, I really don't know where the first two months of 2015 have gone.  Even though it is still really cold and likely to be for quite some time still, it is always nice to have something new to wear in a different colour.... and as it is officially spring, well the brighter the better.

This fabric is a Liberty Lantana fabric which I bought from  It is 80% cotton and 20% wool so I thought it might bridge the time between seriously wintery clothing and not quite ready for flimsy cotton clothing. I still might require a bit of layering to keep cosy, depends on the weather, I suppose.

The pattern is the Liesl and Co Cappuccino pattern which I have already used before in the top version here, so I already new the fit would be fine. I did the same full bust adjustment of adding an extra inch. The dress has the addition of pockets which is always good.

The trim fabric on the collar and cuffs is an organic crossweave cotton from, called purpleish.  It's a little bit crisper than the lantana which is lovely and soft, almost like a brushed cotton, really lovely to work with too.

I like these type of dresses as they can be worn with tights or more casually over jeans or leggings, I took about 3 inches off the length so it would come a little bit above the knee level and would work better over leggings/trousers.

So there we go, the first of my new season sewing, hope I get the weather I'm hoping for!